Strange Paw-print

rynner2

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#1
I think this is my first thread in IHTM, so be gentle with me!

I was out playing cards this evening. The weather was generally rainy. When I got home, I found this apparent paw-print, marked by rain drops, on one of my living room windows!

It measures about 21 cm (8.5 in.) maximum, and the photo does not fully reveal its likeness - the 'fingers' are clearer in RL. (I may try another pic in a mo' - it's still there as I type!)

There's a flower-bed under the window, but no sign of trampling there...

 

rynner2

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#3
Mythopoeika said:
It could be a badger's paw print.
Or it could be an impression left by a bird flying into the window (although it really doesn't look like that).
A badger that big would be scary!

I did think of a bird impact, but as you say it doesn't really look birdlike.

This view from a different angle was taken about 30 minutes later than the first one:



In RL the 'fingers' look very tapered.

There's nothing untoward on any of my other windows.
 

meowfur

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#4
Forgive me if this is just a really stupid question. Do you know for sure it's on the outside, and not the inside?
 

rynner2

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#5
meowfur said:
Forgive me if this is just a really stupid question. Do you know for sure it's on the outside, and not the inside?
Not stupid at all! The question occurred to me too, but it is definitely on the outside! (Although it should have been obvious that raindrops wouldn't be on the inside!)

And it's still there...! :shock:
 

markbellis

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#7
Looks like a smeared partial human palm print - could be oil or another residue making the raindrops cluster up.
 

rynner2

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#8
markbellis said:
Looks like a smeared partial human palm print - could be oil or another residue making the raindrops cluster up.
A human handprint usually emphasises the finger tips, though, whereas here the 'fingers' seem to taper away.

I suppose some people might be able to press their hand on a flat surface without their fingertips touching it, but I'd guess not many. (Perhaps we should have a poll! 8) )
 

stu neville

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#9
Unless someone was leaning on the window pane for support, whilst bending down to pick something up from the flower bed - if they weren't facing the pane directly, but sideways on from it, then the pressure would be greater on the outside edge of the palm and the little finger with a tailing away effect on the rest of the print.

Weren't you investigating your fallen flora out there the other day, Ryn?
 

rynner2

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#10
stuneville said:
Weren't you investigating your fallen flora out there the other day, Ryn?
Yes, but at a different window. And in view of the wet, I think footprints would have been left by something as heavy as a human.

The paw print was on a window that was partially open - anyone leaning on it would have pushed it closed (although they could have pulled it open again).
 

markbellis

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#12
The residue could have gotten on the window at any time since it was last cleaned - it's just the rain that makes it visible - if you were to spray the window with water, it would come back again.
By partial palm, I meant all of the hand, fingers included, but if the palm was only partially covered in places by the residue, and smeared it a little, it would look very much like what you photographed.
 

ElishevaBarsabe

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#13
Human, probably

The second photo shows what is likely a thumb print at the right. If you turn the whole photo upsidedown, you'll see a human hand print.

The blob assumed to be a palm print is incidental.
 

stu neville

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#14
In that case, could you perhaps have reached outside and touched the window pane over the top, from inside, at some point, Ryn?
 

rynner2

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#15
The window was last cleaned (with detergent) about a week before.

And if I'd put my hand over the top at any time (which I haven't!) the fingers would have been pointing down, not up. And my fingers aren't that fat, and my fingertips would have been more marked.

I guess it's a simulacrum of some kind, but exactly how (and when) it formed I don't know. I didn't notice it when I went out, although the rain had started by then. But it was still daylight then. The image was very clear and noticeable when I got home!


Probably quite unrelated, but there were statistical anomalies at my card evening that night. There were 17 of us playing, which made for four tables with one person floating. I do not like partnering either of two particular players, but when we drew lots for partners, I got paired with one of those two. And when the first time for a partner change came I got paired with the second one! The next time I changed partners, I was back with the first one!

Only on the last game of all did I have a different partner, and that time our opponents were my two bugbears, now partnering each other!

Without going into long-winded detail, all the partner changes are purely random, but of all the people there I got lumbered with my bug bears all night!
 

markbellis

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#16
rynner said:
The next time I changed partners, I was back with the first one!
Hmmm, what kind of game are we talking about here? Might explain about the spectator outside, and the residue.... no, wait, forget about it.... :oops:
 

IamSundog

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#17
I agree with Elisheva - the second photo looked at upside down seems to clearly be a human handprint (with some kind of smear below it (above it if looking upside down...)). So the answer must be that you had somebody crawling down your wall. Batman, possibly, or the vampires from Van Helsing. With greasy hands.

My guess is that they were going down the wall "frog style" using two feet and their right hand while holding a piece of pizza in their left hand, lost their "footing", and had to put out their left hand to catch themselves, dropping the pizza as they did so. Their left hand contacted the window pane, making the print, and the pizza hit the glass just below that, making the smear, and then fell to the ground.

While we can't definitiely identify the perpetrator yet, we do know that they can walk up and down walls, are left handed, had just come from a pizza restaurant, and possibly had had a little too much to drink, which is why they stumbled. But not so much to drink that they didn't have the presence of mind to retrieve their pizza slice from the ground before they left. Either to remove the evidence of their being there, or because they were hungry enough to pick out the dirt and leaves.

Elementary, really.
 

ElishevaBarsabe

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#18
rynner said:
Without going into long-winded detail, all the partner changes are purely random, but of all the people there I got lumbered with my bug bears all night!
Were you in a poor mood before you got there? You might have been experiencing a version of the photocopier syndrome.
 

rynner2

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#20
ElishevaBarsabe said:
Were you in a poor mood before you got there? You might have been experiencing a version of the photocopier syndrome.
photocopier syndrome? Not heard of that before.


Another little oddity today I may as well add here, as it's not worth a new thread:

Doing some half-hearted housework, I found a snail under a chair in a corner. Not just a shell, there's a snail in there, perhaps hibernating. It wasn't too far from a window that's been part open for a few days, so I suppose it could have climbed up the wall and in the window, but there are no signs of a snail trail inside or out. (and the window frame would have been tricky for a snail too.)

Any theories? (preferably not involving pizza... ;) )
 

ElishevaBarsabe

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#21
rynner said:
photocopier syndrome? Not heard of that before.
Your mood effects the photocopier; for example, if you are in a hurry, the photocopier will jam. You did say "I do not like partnering either of two particular players, but when we drew lots for partners, I got paired with one of those two."

rynner said:
... there's a snail in there, perhaps hibernating. It wasn't too far from a window that's been part open for a few days, so I suppose it could have climbed up the wall and in the window...)
We get snails in our garage. They seem to crawl in when tiny (a tiny snail is nearly microscopic), then grow too large to get out.
 

IamSundog

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#22
Any theories? (preferably not involving pizza... )
Well the evidence now clearly points to Batman crawling down your wall with pizza escargot, but if you're going to be prescriptively skeptical about it I won't bother to enlighten you.
 

Ideasman

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#24
I am reminded of the Sci Fi classic 'Forbidden Planet'...

Your psyche, frustrated by fate in the card game, generated a monster from the ID that attempted to take matters intto it's own hands thwarted only by the double glazing...

...blame the giant power plants left by the Old Ones under the Cornish granite... ;)
 

rynner2

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#25
ideasman1 said:
I am reminded of the Sci Fi classic 'Forbidden Planet'...
Great film!

And great theories, folks. :D

But the way my memory keeps failing, it was probably me crawling up the walls with a pizza escargot, but I forgot I'd done it... :roll:


...except that there's no pizza outlet near here...

"I'm reviewing
The situation...
...
I'd better think it out again" 8)
 

maximus otter

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#26
I'm guessing at an owl strike.

Owl feathers are coated with a special powder that (in some way I've forgotten since that nice Mr. Attenborough on the telly told me) aids their near-silent flight. This is often deposited on glass after an impact.

I'd say that the "fingerprints" are the tips of main wing feathers and the "palm" is the body of the owl.

The odd alignment/shape is probably due to the collision having been a glancing one, rather than "full beak on."

Typing "owl window" into Google Image Search produces several spectacular examples.

maximus otter
 

rynner2

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#28
I've not actually seen any owls around here, but I think it would be good hunting territory for owls - there are plenty of trees, bushes and grass, and open fields and a swampy nature reserve not far off.

There's a large population of gulls too, which do often fly at night for some reason.
 

GNC

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#30
rynner said:
There's a large population of gulls too, which do often fly at night for some reason.
I was woken up by a seagull yelling last night. I thought they'd be alseep at that time.
 
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